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The Ultimate Guide to Energy Efficient Christmas Lights


It’s that time of year again! The Christmas lights are up and your energy bills are going through the roof. We know it can be frustrating to feel like you’re paying more and getting less, but there’s a way to keep energy costs low while still enjoying the beauty of outdoor Christmas lights. Here are ways you can enjoy your Christmas lights without breaking the bank or sacrificing energy savings.

Out with the old incandescent lights and in with the new!

In the past, incandescent Christmas lights were the popular choice. Today, LED Christmas lights are quickly taking over as the most popular choice for holiday lights. Not only do they last longer than incandescent light strings, but energy-efficient LED Christmas lights also use less energy.

If you’re not ready to replace all of the outdoor Christmas decorations in your yard at once, try starting with one light strand and swapping out bulbs as needed when older ones burn out. This will help reduce energy usage without sacrificing your wallet.

Types of Bulbs

The types of energy-efficient LED Christmas lights that are available have increased significantly over the last few decades, and so too have their bulb options. Incandescent lights offer a warm glow while LED light strings produce more light for less power. They are preferable when you want your space brightly lit without using excessive electricity or wasting money on replacing burned-out bulbs all throughout December.

Here are the types of bulbs that you can use on your house or on your Christmas tree.

  • G12 Bulbs. G12 bulbs are a unique type of LED that has been designed to create the perfect globe shape. They’re often used more than their incandescent counterparts because they provide more than just illumination – these energy efficient light sources can be transformed into an array of colors, making them suited for any occasion.
  • Minibulbs. If you’re looking for a little light to adorn your Christmas tree this season, MiniBulbs are what most people think of. These small LED mini lights come in styles that mimic incandescent mini-lamps as well as diamond cut polka dot frosted icicle lights. They are perfect for outdoor lights such as net lights or inside on indoor Christmas trees where they provide cozy warmth without excessive heat output as other traditional lights may produce.
  • Polka-dot Bulbs. If you’re looking for a more personalized Christmas display, then polka-dot bulbs are your best option. They produce vivid colors and have an interesting style that makes them stand apart from other LED string lights in similar wattages.
  • G20 Bulbs. Larger than their G12 cousins, the bulbs are 0.79 inches in diameter and provide an attractive light that can be used for decorative wedding lights or in an outdoor light display at the same time.
  • M5 Classic Bulbs. The M5 LED bulbs are a perfect replacement for your traditional Christmas lights as they mimic the look of incandescent lights. They can also be used as party decorations or indoor ambient lighting.
  • M6 Bulbs. M6 LED lights are like the classic version of M5 bulbs. They’re great for string lights, and you can get them in warm or cool colors too!

How LED Lights Can Save You Money

Outdoor Christmas lights are a great way to add beauty and fun to your yard, but they also use energy! If you want to reduce energy costs without sacrificing the magic of outdoor holiday lighting, try dimming your existing light strands with an automatic timer. This is one of our favorite energy-efficient Christmas light tips – it’s so easy and energy-efficient!

Switch your string lights to LEDs. LEDs use a fraction of the energy that incandescent bulbs do. The average home will save around $25 per year on their electric bill by switching to LEDs.

Lessen Your Carbon Footprint

Leave less of a carbon footprint this holiday season by following these energy-efficient Christmas lights tips. The less energy you use, the less carbon footprint we leave behind. So whether you’re using globe lights, mini lights, fairy lights, or color-changing lights ensure you are using LED bulbs to light the way. You can enjoy your outdoor lighting while saving energy and money!

Tips For Energy Efficiency

#1: Use automatic timers.

Preset your decorative lights to turn on and off with an energy-efficient timer. Timers can save a significant amount of energy over the holiday season and save on your electric bill. Imagine how much energy is used when a light is left on constantly. Smart plugs are great for controlling lights, too.

#2: Connect your lights to the smart technology in your home.

If you use a smart home device such as Google Home or Amazon Alexa Devices, connect your lights to them with a smart plug. This makes it easy and convenient to turn them on and off with just the sound of your voice.

#3: Choose LED lights.

Incandescent light bulbs are a thing of the past and use up a lot of energy. When choosing holiday lights, go with LEDs.

#4: Space out your bulbs.

Choose a light string where the bulbs are spaced out. It makes it easier to wrap with these types of strings, but also fewer bulbs use less energy usage.

#5: Purchase backup bulbs.

Parallel circuits are fairly common in most energy-efficient strings lights. A parallel circuit means that each bulb has its own path to the battery source. If a bulb burns out, it won’t affect the other bulbs and the other will continue to stay lit. You may have some lights that are in a series, so if one burns out, they all do. Keep some extra bulbs on hand even just for aesthetics purposes.

#6: Use extension cords to lengthen light strands.

Save space and use an extension cord to connect lights to the outlet without using another string light. Extension cords use less energy than another string light does.

Get Expert Advice on Energy-Saving LED Christmas Lights

If you’re interested in energy-saving LED lights but don’t know where to start, reach out to a local lighting dealer or energy company. They can help educate you on the different types of Christmas lights and what works best for your home or business. Have more energy savings questions? Contact the experts at Wattson before you hang your next holiday lights. We are here to help you save energy and save money.